Thursday, May 26, 2011


Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 2

ANTONY (In front of a crowd supporting Brutus)

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honourable man;

So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.

He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.

You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
And none so poor to do him reverence.
O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable men.

I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar;
I do fear it.


They were traitors: honourable men!
They were villains, murderers:
the will! read the will.



The Fountainhead, Part II, Chapter 12

DOMINIQUE FRANCON (in a court, speaking in Roark's defence of the Stoddard Temple)

Howard Roark built a temple to the human spirit. He saw man as strong, proud, clean, wise and fearless. He saw man as a heroic being. And he built a temple to that. A temple is a place where man is to experience exaltation. He thought that exaltation comes from the consciousness of being guiltless, of seeing the truth and achieving it, of living up to one's highest possibility, of knowing no shame and having no cause for shame, of being able to stand naked in full sunlight. He thought that exaltation means joy and that joy is man's birthright. He thought that a place built as a setting for man is a sacred place. That is what Howard Roark thought of man and exaltation. But Ellsworth Toohey said that this temple was a monument to a profound hatred of humanity. Ellsworth Toohey said that the essence of exaltation was to scared out of wits, to fall down and to grovel. Ellsworth Toohey said that man's highest act was to realize his own worthlessness and to beg forgiveness. Ellsworth Toohey said it was depraved not to take for granted that man is something which needs to be forgiven. Ellsworth Toohey saw that this building was of man and of the earth - and Ellsworth Toohey said that this building had its belly in the mud. To glorify man, said Ellsworth Toohey was to glorify the gross pleasure of the flesh, for the realm of the spirit is beyond the grasp of man. Ellsworth Toohey is a lover of mankind.
I do not condemn Ellsworth Toohey. I condemn Howard Roark. A building, they say, must be a part of its site. In what kind of world did Roark build his temple? For what kind of men?
Ellsworth Toohey is right, that is a sacrilege, though not in the sense he meant. I think Mr. Toohey knows that, however. When you see a man casting pearls without getting even a pork chop in return - it's not against the swine that you feel indignation. It is against the man who valued his pearls so little that he was willing to fling them into the muck...

Off-topic: I don't know why the hell I didn't read The Fountainhead earlier. Those of you who haven't yet, go, read!


Akshata said...

Fondest had taken me three attempts to get the point in the court scene. And after reading, I was Roark for a week. B-)

Well composed. :)

Vinay Hegde said...

Thanks Aksie!

I know the reply's come very early, sorry about that. I didn't realize that someone has commented on this post. :-P